It continues to be a frustrating time for clubs and players who are keen to return to playing squash. We are all passionate about the sport and desperate to get back to playing, but we must all recognize that the return will take time and must be approached with both caution and care.
For now, there are issues clubs should discuss and plan for, including:
1. Leadership and management
Establish whether staff can safely return to work under Government guidelines and if there is a minimum number of staff required to open and run the club. Is there someone in your team that can take the lead regarding COVID-19 and what support can they be given? At what point is it financially viable for the club to open, remembering there is very likely to be reduced income from bookings and secondary spend.
2. Club access and environment
All clubs are unique so consider what changes are required to minimise risk at your facility including safe entry and exit of the club, and also how you could stop or limit use of the communal spaces. It is likely that any café/bar, changing facilities and showers will be closed at first, so what implications will this have? For instance, it will be necessary to ensure the club has sufficient cleaning and hygiene products and a more frequent cleaning schedule.
3. Court bookings
Review the court booking system to ensure that you can trace, contact and record who has been into the club and when. Consider your booking policy, as advance bookings are the safest way to regulate the number of people attending the club. Review how long is required between court bookings to allow for cleaning all common surfaces.
We all have a part to play in returning to squash safely. Members will need to adopt new habits such as taking spare towels and arriving to play ready in their kit, bringing their own water and even a small first aid kit, which might be unusual for them. How will you best communicate these changes with your members and keep them and your staff safe?
We will continue to update you via email and social media as the situation evolves and will keep our COVID-19 dedicated page up-to-date with the latest information and resources.
The England Squash team